Ira takes a Medieval scholar from the University of Chicago, Michael Camille, to Medieval Times — a chain of fake castles where visitors eat Medieval food and drink Medieval Pepsi and watch a supposed recreation of a Medieval jousting tournament. The scholar finds that there are many historical inaccuracies, but that Medieval Times does capture something essential and interesting about the spirit of the Middle Ages. (19 minutes)
Postscript: Sadly, Michael Camille, the wonderful scholar in this story, passed away in 2002. You can read about Camille at the University of Chicago website, or on the UK's Guardian Unlimited website. Michael's books are still in print, though aimed at an academic audience. The one that touches most directly on the things he talks about on our show is Image on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art (Reaktion Books - Essays in Art and Culture).
Oct 11, 1996
Simulated worlds, Civil war reenactments, wax museums, simulated coal mines, fake ethnic restaurants, an ersatz Medieval castle and other re-created worlds that thrive all across America. (4 minutes)